ingredient of the week…

burrata

On our way home from the beach the other week we stopped at a fabulous produce stand we enjoy in the summer when crops are coming in heavy.  I loaded up like a kid in a candy store with a $100 bill!  Tomatoes, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, peas, blueberries, Sandhill peaches, watermelon, potatoes and more!  Last night we reaped the rewards of our stop with our first dinner using produce this week:  Sautéed Turkey Cutlets with Herbs de Provence (a cherished gift straight from France), with Summer Squash and Tomatoes lightly sautéed in pan juices & sprinkled with salt, and a side of crowder peas I shelled then cooked in a little bouillon, with a fabulous piece of burrata right in the middle.  Heaven on a plate.

As much as I love the summer produce, I realize most of you are very familiar with those ingredients.  What I want to share with you is the last little item mentioned, burrata.  It is a fabulous ingredient to pair with many summer dishes and in case you aren’t familiar with it you might want to put it on your summer grocery list.  Burrata is an Italian cheese.  The outside is fresh mozzarella, with a creamy center that is a mixture of mozzarella and cream.  When cut into, it is very soft and decadent.  Better yet, you can purchase it at  Trader Joe’s for under $5 and I have found it to be consistently delicious.

burrata on plate

Oh burrata, how do I use thee?  Let me count the ways…

~Simply cut open, sprinkled with a good salt.  I love Maldon Sea Salts, and Southern Home & Kitchen at Thruway sells a great line of exotic salts by the Salt Sisters.  My favorites are the black ash salt and the merlot salt, go check them out and choose!

~Burrata Caprese Salad, just a little different than what you are used to.  Fresh sliced tomatoes and basil with burrata is simply wonderful.  You say tomato, I say tomato… with burrata!

~Burrata with Balsamic Vinegar and chopped shallots.  I am slightly addicted to the 18 year aged Balsamic Vinegar from Green Gate Olive Oils.  This Balsamic is great as mentioned above and makes an incredible dressing, too.

~Summer tomato sauce with pasta and burrata.  This summer tomato sauce is so easy anyone can make it, and it’s not even cooked unless you want to give it a quick sautee with your pasta.  I think I will need to devote a short blog to making this summer sauce separately, stay tuned.

I think you get the idea, but use the burrata creatively.  Last night we didn’t have a starch with dinner, so the burrata was a nice addition to a very un-Italian meal.  I hope you will be inspired to check it out, let me know how it goes, and enjoy!

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